BRIGHTON, N.Y. — For mothers like Yixuan Lin, the bilingual story time at the Brighton Memorial Library is a way for her to share her culture with her son and the community.
“If you speak a different language it’s a good way through books to build that relationship,” said Lin, a parent and volunteer reader for Child Roc, a nonprofit group promoting early childhood learning through language and Chinese culture.
The bilingual story time in Mandarin and English is hosted by Child Roc.
“Most people speak mandarin at home and now we have a place like this where you can speak Mandarin outside of your home and make friends outside of your home who speak the same language,” Child Roc founder Michelle Li said.
The story time is spoken in both languages as a way for children to educate children while giving them an opportunity to practice their understanding and expand on their vocabulary.
“Every children loves stories and reading stories is a great channel or a great method for them to learn the languages,” Li said.
“[For] kids growing up in America, it’s hard to find an environment to learn the language,” Lin said. “Now he will be able to read the English part and I will be able to read the Mandarin part. So it creates teamwork. And I think it’s great for parents to read to your child.”
The story time also uses a mix of Mandarin and English to teach children about other cultures.
“Like today, I’m reading about a castle, the medieval European history books,” Lin said. “So it’s kind of an opportunity to introduce different cultures together and through different language and expand the kids' vocabulary too.”
“It's super important to have I think other groups coming in and speaking other languages and sort of normalizing it, that this is the world we live in,” said Deena Viviani, young adult circulation and programming services manager at the Brighton Memorial Library.
It’s also giving children and their parents a chance to share their love for their culture with others.
“We have deep Chinese roots,” Lin said. “And we know the beauty of the Chinese language. And we want to share that with our children and our community.”